Customer Service Policy – Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities
Adhering to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 ErinoakKids values the accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities with respect to goods, services, facilities, accommodation, employment, buildings, structures and premises and will ensure that appropriate customer service standards are in place to meet the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
This policy applies to all employees who work with the public or other third parties, as well as persons involved in developing policies pertaining to the provision of goods and services to the public or other third parties, whether they do so as employees, volunteers, agents (Service Providers) or otherwise.
In keeping with the principles set out in the AODA, ErinoakKids is committed to providing respectful services that focus on the unique needs of each individual.
To achieve this, ErinoakKids shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that its policies pertaining to the provision of goods and services to the public and other third parties adhere to the following guiding principles as set out in Ontario Regulation 429/07:
The goods or services must be provided in a manner that respects the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities.
The provision of goods or services to persons with disabilities and others must be integrated unless an alternate measure is ‘necessary, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis, to enable a person with a disability to obtain, use or benefit from the goods or services’.
Persons with disabilities must be given an opportunity equal to that given to others to obtain, use and benefit from the goods or services.
The AODA and Ontario Regulation 419/07 contain and refer to various definitions that are relevant to this policy, some of which are set out below.
any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal, or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device;
a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability;
a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language;
a mental disorder, or
an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
This definition includes disabilities of differing severity, visible as well as non-visible disabilities, and disabilities where the effects of which may come and go.
Anything that prevents a person with a disability from fully participating in all aspects of society because of his or her disability, including a physical barrier, an architectural barrier, an information or communications barrier, an attitudinal barrier, a technological barrier, a policy or a practice; (“obstacle”).
A dog trained as a guide for a blind person and having the qualifications prescribed by the regulations; (Blind Persons’ Rights Act 1990 s1 (1).
An animal acting as a service animal for a person with a disability,
(a) if it is readily apparent that the animal is used by the person for reasons relating to his or her disability; or
(b) if the person provides a letter from a physician or nurse confirming that the person requires the animal for reasons relating to the disability.
In relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods or services.
ErinoakKids is committed to excellence in serving all clients/customers including people with disabilities and will carry out our functions and responsibilities in the following areas:
ErinoakKids supports an accessible Ontario where the independence and integration of those with disabilities is promoted. When communicating with a person with a disability, individuals working on behalf of ErinoakKids shall do so in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability and will make reasonable efforts to have the person with a disability understand both the content and intent of its communications.
B. Use of Assistive Devices:
ErinoakKids is committed to servicing people with disabilities who use assistive devices in order to obtain, use or benefit from our goods and services. ErinoakKids will ensure that staff are trained on or about the assistive devices made available by ErinoakKids and realize that persons with disabilities may use their own assistive devices to access ErinoakKids goods and services.
C. Use of Support Animals:
ErinoakKids is committed to welcoming people with disabilities and their service animals on the parts of our premises that are open to the public and to other third parties, and will permit the person to keep the service animal with them. ErinoakKids will also ensure that all persons to whom this policy applies have been trained on how to interact with people with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal.
If the service animal is excluded by law from ErinoakKids premises or is unable to accommodate a person with a disability in our facility due to situations beyond our control, such as others who have allergies to animals, ErinoakKids shall ensure that measures are available to permit persons with disabilities to access our goods and services through other means.
D. Use of Support Persons:
ErinoakKids is committed to welcoming people with disabilities who are accompanied by a support person. Any person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person will be allowed to enter ErinoakKids’ premises with his or her support person. At no time will a person with a disability who is accompanied by a support person be prevented from having access to his or her support person while on ErinoakKids’ premises.
On occasion persons with disabilities require the assistance of a support person to protect their health and safety or the health and safety of others. If necessary, ErinoakKids may require a person with a disability to be accompanied by a support person while on ErinoakKids premises for the purpose of protecting the health and safety of the person with the disability, or others on the premises.
E. Notice of Temporary Disruptions in Services and Facilities:
In order to obtain, use or benefit from ErinoakKids’ services, persons with disabilities usually use particular facilities or services of ErinoakKids. If there is a temporary disruption in those facilities or services in whole or in part, ErinoakKids shall give notice of the disruption to the public.
The notice of disruption will include information about the reason for the disruption, its anticipated duration and a description of alternative facilities or services, if any, that are available. Notice may be given by posting the information at a conspicuous place on premises owned or operated by ErinoakKids, by posting it on ErinoakKids’ website or by such other method as is reasonable in the circumstances.
ErinoakKids will ensure appropriate levels of training to all employees, volunteers, students, agents and others who deal with the public or other third parties on behalf of ErinoakKids.
Records of the training will be maintained by Human Resources and include the dates on which training occurred.
Training will include the following topics:
Purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005;
The requirements of the Accessibility Standards for Client/Customer Service;
How to interact and communicate with people with various types of disabilities;
How to interact with people with disabilities who use an assistive device or require the assistance of a service animal or a support person;
Where applicable, how to use the assistive devices available at ErinoakKids sites and otherwise made available by ErinoakKids for persons with disabilities;
What to do if a person with a disability is having difficulty accessing ErinoakKids goods and services;
ErinoakKids’ policies relating to the provision of goods and services to the public and other third parties.
Staff will be trained on an ongoing basis when changes are made to policies dealing with the provision of goods and services to the public and other third parties. New employees, including volunteers and students will receive training as part of corporate orientation program.
G. Feedback Process:
ErinoakKids is committed to meet and surpass client/customer expectations while serving client/customers with disabilities. Comments on ErinoakKids’ services regarding how well those expectations are being met are welcome and appreciated.
Feedback regarding the way ErinoakKids provides goods and services to people with disabilities can be made in person, by telephone, in writing or by delivering an electronic text by email, storage device other reasonable methods.
Complaints will be addressed according to complaints categories already established in Corporate Policy: Handling of Complaints.
H. Availability of Accessible Client/customer Service Documents:
ErinoakKids shall prepare any additional documents describing its policies as may be required by Ontario Regulation 429/07 and, upon request, shall give a copy of such documents to any person. Further, ErinoakKids shall notify persons to whom it provides goods and services that the documents required under the Ontario Regulation 429/07 are available upon request.
ErinoakKids shall give the person the documents, or the information contained in the documents described above, in a format that takes into account the person’s disability.